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Utah: Four Pro-Gun Bills on the Move in the State Senate

Monday, February 27, 2012

Today, 1st Substitute House Bill 395, that would amend Utah’s Concealed Firearm Act and the law pertaining to prohibited persons, passed in the state House by a 69 to 0 vote.  HB 395 now goes to the state Senate where it could be assigned to a committee or go straight to the Senate floor for consideration.  Additionally, House Bill 129, a defense of property and person bill, passed in the state Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice (JLC) Committee by a 5 to 1 vote and is headed to the Senate floor for a vote.

House Bill 117, a firearms modifications bill, is scheduled to be heard tomorrow in the state Senate JLC Committee at 8:00 a.m. in Room 250 of the State Capitol.  Also, House Bill 49, a disorderly conduct measure, is pending a hearing in the state Senate JLC Committee. 

Introduced by state Representative Stephen Sandstrom (R-58), 1st Substitute House Bill 395 would make a number of positive changes to existing law, including the following:

  1. Move Utah closer to the proposition that a person is innocent until proven guilty by repealing the current law that requires the suspension of a concealed firearm permit based on a person merely being charged with a crime;

  2. Fix a “Catch-22” in the current law and provide due process by allowing a firearm owner who becomes a restricted person, either by virtue of a conviction or of an alleged violation, to lawfully dispose of firearms in the person’s possession; and

  3. Help law-abiding firearm owners and sellers by targeting straw purchasers and other people who knowingly attempt to illegally or fraudulently purchase firearms.

The NRA has worked closely with state Representative Sandtrom to ensure that HB 395 was amended to protect and benefit law-abiding gun owners.

House Bill 129, introduced by state Representative Patrick Painter (R-67), would clarify and strengthen Utah’s statute which protects a property owner from civil liability if the person is justified in defending his or her home and family against criminal activity. 

Please contact your state Senator TODAY and respectfully urge him or her to support 1st Substitute HB 395 and HB 129.  Contact information for your state Senator can be found here.

House Bill 117, introduced by state Representative Ken Ivory (R-47), would repeal the limitation on carrying a concealed firearm while hunting and would make a technical amendment to existing law by changing the term “sawed-off shotgun” to “short barrel shotgun.” 

There is an issue in some jurisdictions in Utah where people are legally carrying a firearm and doing nothing illegal, but are being arrested and charged with Disorderly Conduct.  House Bill 49, sponsored by state Representative Paul Ray (R-13), would clarify the Disorderly Conduct statute to ensure it cannot be twisted by anti-gun local officials to prosecute people who are otherwise lawfully carrying a firearm.

Please contact members of the state Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee TODAY and respectfully urge them to support HB 117 and HB 49.  You can contact committee members by calling the Senate line at (801) 538-1035 and by sending an e-mail to the addresses provided below:

Senator Mark B. Madsen, Chairman (R-13)
mmadsen@le.utah.gov

Senator Lyle W. Hillyard (R-25)
lhillyard@le.utah.gov

Senator Benjamin M. McAdams (D-2)
bmcadams@le.utah.gov

Senator Ross I. Romero (D-7)
rromero@le.utah.gov

Senator Stephen H. Urquhart (R-29)
surquhart@le.utah.gov

Senator Michael G. Waddoups (R-6)
waddoups@le.utah.gov

Senator Todd Weiler (R-23)
tweiler@le.utah.gov

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.